Monday, September 24, 2012


Yesterday's road race didn't turn out very well for anyone other than Gilbert. As was expected, Gilbert made the entire field look silly with his last lap attack on the Cauberg. He made a perfectly timed move that ended all talk of his imperfect season and rode away to perhaps the most important victory of his career. For the USA, we left feeling disappointed for sure. We put a great effort forth, but we came away empty handed. From the start, Lucas, Timmy, Alex, Brent, and I were covering every move that went. It was pretty awesome to be a part of it actually because we had such great chemistry going as far as helping each other out. We had a guy or a couple guys in almost everything. Finally after an hour, a successful move materialized, and we had Timmy and Alex in it.

Once the move was gone, it was a fairly normal race with Great Britain taking initial charge of the field and setting a solid tempo. The gap for the break never got too big because the pace in the field was pretty vigorous. That pace began to take its toll as the laps/distance accumulated. The structure of the race like a lollipop. We did about 100km before we entered a local circuit of 16km, which we did 10 times. The lap contained two small climbs, which over time just took it out of people. Especially on the Cauberg, the steep pitches and constant attacks as the laps wore on took a definite effect on the field. I know for certain that my legs were protesting. Due to the difficulty of the race, along with some crashes, the majority of our team abandoned. Alex did an awesome job of being "last man standing" from the early break. Also, Andrew made a gutsy move on the second to last lap. He got away with one other rider, and they established a nice gap, but the field was too motivated and strong to let it happen. So in the end, a few guys finished, but the team walked away yearning for more. Despite the disappointment, I think we're motivated for better in the future, and we're building toward strong results in coming years. We have a young squad with a ton of potential, and USA Cycling is really rallying behind us to create better results in the future.


Anonymous said...

Matthew, could you elaborate on why you abandoned the race? As a cycling fan living in Wisconsin I was very disappointed with all the US DNF's. You guys are representing our country and while I understand team USA might not win the race I expected each member of the team would give maximum effort to at least finish the race.

Had the pleasure of watching you at this year's US Pro Cycling Challenge and look forward to an even better season in 2013.

daveR said...

Great retelling, matthew. It was exciting to see Talansky and Stannard climb the Cauberg and try to excape, but it looked like a beast of a climb. Nice job and I suspect you get to go to Lombardia again.